You might have noticed that men and women have differing attitudes about shoes.

Men regard shoes primarily as covering for their feet and spend relatively little time thinking about their footwear.

With women, it's a more complicated business. And it starts at a young age.

Tammy Tate Vanveckhoven, of Central, illustrates that point with this story about her daughter Abigail, 7:

"The other day, I needed to run to the bank to make a deposit and told Abigail, 'Come ride with me to the bank. You don't have to get dressed up; we're just going around the corner.'

"She showed up for the ride 'barefooted as a yard dog,' as my daddy would say.

"I said, 'Abigail Rose, have you lost your mind? It's freezing out here. You don't get in the car with no shoes on.'

"But Mama, I couldn't find the right shoe," she explained, meaning the shoes that went with her outfit.

Thrill of flight

Our recent nostalgia items involving Western Auto stores and their Wizard outboard motors jogged Alton Duke's memory:

"About six Istrouma High football teammates built a pair of water skis and headed to False River to try them out.

"After many attempts, we were able to make one round on skis. We next drew straws to select the first to try the ski ramp that elevated to over 10 feet above the water.

"The 'winner' slid the last half of the plywood ramp on his rear end.

"Louis Jones suggested that the Wizard was underpowered for the jump and said we should take an angle and only use half the ramp.

"Big mistake — following that suggestion, the next jumper's right ski went off the edge of the ramp and the left one continued to the top, creating a human propeller."

Happy returns

Hal Filgo says, "I recently lost my wallet and went into a frenzy, canceling my credit cards, getting a new driver's license, etc.

"A week later, I received in the mail two large envelopes containing the contents of my wallet.

"I would like to thank the person who returned these items to me, but there was no name included."    

They love Greg

"This might be fun to put in your column about Americans in foreign countries," says JiJi Jonas, of Baton Rouge:

"In June of 2017, we were sitting at an outdoor restaurant in Siem Reap, Cambodia, when a young couple sat at the next table.

"She was from Hungary and he was from New Zealand, but they were both working in England.

"The woman happened to say that she loved American authors, and especially loved Greg Iles (the mystery novel writer from Natchez, Mississippi).

"I quickly whipped out my phone and showed her a picture of Greg Iles and me that I had taken at his visit to Barnes & Noble in Baton Rouge. He happens to be one of my favorite authors, too."

Special People Dept.

  • Milton Rougon, of Baton Rouge, formerly of Rougon, celebrates his 97th birthday Thursday, Jan. 31. He is a World War II veteran and was a POW.
  • Joseph Caracci, of Lake Sherwood Village in Baton Rouge, celebrates his 96th birthday Thursday, Jan. 31. He is a World War II Army Air Corps veteran.
  • Bettie Anderson, of Amber Terrace Assisted Living in Baton Rouge, celebrated her 94th birthday Monday, Jan. 28.
  • Sadonia Hutchinson celebrated her 93rd birthday Sunday, Jan. 27.

Silent treatment

Harold Mayeux offers this lesson in the spelling quirks of our English language:

"Thibodeaux called Boudreaux and said, 'I need you to spell a word for me.'

"So Boudreaux did. Then Thibodeaux said, 'I didn't quite get the first letter; was it a "g" like in gnat?'

"Boudreaux replied, 'Mais non, Thibodeaux; it was a "p" like in pneumonia.'"

High horse

P.J. Bourgeois says, "Yesterday, I went up to the fence of the horse lot on my brother's property in Opelousas while carrying a vodka martini.

"My sister-in-law's mare stuck her big tongue down into my glass two or three times and drank my whole drink.

"I believe it is only in south Louisiana that horses like martinis."

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.